5 Ways to Make Soccer More Exciting for Television

Photo by adem80 via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Yada. Yada. Yada. There are those who think that soccer is an amazing game for watching on television. But for the other 95.7% of Americans I have five ideas for making it more palatable to the American market.

  1. Make goals worth 7 points. We get that. A game that ends in 1-0 seems pointless. But a game that is 7-0 seems like a defensive battle. But not nearly as good as a 42-35 throw down.
  2. Every time a team scores a goal, they lose a player. With fewer players on the better teams that gives the poorer teams the chance to score more often. That means that the more goals that are scored, the fewer players on the field, and more opportunities to score. Another alternative would be to substitute a small child for a player each time a team scores a goal. About 6 years old seems right.
  3. Add a little hill near the middle line and get rid of the offsides rule. Make the hill reasonable… but it’s important that there is a sightline issue so that a hidden forward can lay low enough to cherry pick for an easy shot on goal.
  4. If a game goes to overtime add an additional ball every five minutes. I don’t mind the idea of playing an extra period. I just don’t want to watch a bunch of tired guys pass it around and wait for a shootout. If it’s still tied inside of 5 minutes in overtime, both managers get to play too.
  5. Eliminate the red card and substitute in a penalty box. All of the weenie flopping is hard to stomach. If there’s a hard foul, give the offender a 5 minute timeout. Americans love the aggressiveness of hockey. But the acting on display at the World Cup reminded us of a soap opera.

These are my ideas for making soccer more interesting.

What are yours?


Soccer in Tent Cities

We were very encouraged to find a decent soccer field and some team practicing. We came back the next day and played a U18 group. It was fun to play… while we had some valiant plays we eventually got creamed. I will let you know that both Joel and I scored goals though. His was legitimate and mine was a fluke. (You don’t score many goals off a goal kick. But I did!)

This was one of the many signs of health we saw at this tent city. Plenty of commerce. Lots of organization. Clean water, showers, and toilets. And organized sports for various ages.

Sidenote: The guys were lobbing passes across the field while we were filming thing. You’ll notice that about a minute into the video there’s a little disturbance. I guess one of the Haitian guys thought it’d be funny to try to snipe me while I was filming. I never saw the ball coming at my head from about 40 yards. Thankfully, Josh stuck out his arm and blocked it. Otherwise… this would have been my ticket to $10,000 on Americas Funniest Home Videos. Er, maybe that’d be the Haitian version?


Women’s Soccer Gone Wild

Dang! Thankfully, the Mountain West Conference took care of this. I can’t believe the referees only gave her a yellow card for this. My guess is that her soccer career just ended.

Television Video Clip

Unreal Soccer Skills

hmm... thoughts

Grace vs. Karma

Without karma, how do you get stuff done in the church?

Yesterday’s message got me thinking about the mistake many people, even church people, make in regards to grace. Here’s what those two terms mean and why they are opposites.

Grace is receiving unmerited favor. In other words, you get what you don’t deserve.

Karma is the effects of your past deeds is your future experience. In other words, you get what you pay for.

The Karma Conspiracy. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Most people in ministry believe in grace but practice and perpetuate karma in their ministry. Not all, but nearly all.

1. I missed my kids soccer game because I was preparing for my message on Sunday.

2. Come be a part of God’s vision and serve at the spaghetti dinner.

3. Partner with God in the vision of our church by tithing.

4. Join a small group this fall and be a part of what we’re doing.

Now, you’ll see those statements and not see the karma connection. Since I’ve been guilty of all four of those let me translate into what most (nearly all) pastors are thinking when they say these things.

1. If I work hard good things will happen in my church.

2. I am capitalizing on your false belief that working in the church will merit favor in order to fill a job roster.

3. I am exploiting on your belief that if you give to God He will give more back to you.

4. By asking you to do something you don’t want to do, I am perpetuating your false belief in karma with the hope that you’ll discover grace.

See, this is a tricky thing. And I don’t think any pastor does it intentionally. Yet I think that karma is so engrained in our culture that we perpetuate it unknowingly.

Question: How do we stop this? How do we allow grace, true unmerited favor from God, to permeate everything we do in ministry and in life?

Hint: I think both the problem and the solution are found here.